Can your shoes cause infertility and cancer?

It has long been known that the soles of our feet are highly sensitive and can absorb what they come in contact with. Holistic practitioners and medical doctors from the past used to prescribe the administering of iodine to the soles of their patient’s feet to cure goiters and underactive thyroid conditions.

Experiments with garlic cloves on the soles of the feet can result in “garlic breath” on the participant within one hour of contact.

Chinese medicine doctors, reflexologists, and acupuncturists have mapped the bottom of the human feet for centuries and know the influences it has on certain organs. The use of ionic foot baths and other herbal patches have also demonstrated an ability to draw toxins and heavy metals from the soles of human feet.

While recent decades have made most people conscious of environmental xenoestrogens found in plastic drink containers, linings of tin cans and food substances, there may be something we have overlooked… our shoes!

It may not be just the cheap rubber/plastic shoes one wears to the beach but also in those leather shoes that contain synthetic linings.

Bisphenols including bisphenol A, S and F are all potential mutagenic, carcinogenic hormone/gene disrupters that are linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
These substances have demonstrated an ability to affect gene transcription codes and cause biotransformation of human cells including infertility. (Eladak et al. 2015), (Michalowicz et al. 2014), (Chen et al. 2002).

Often people think that as long as they wear leather shoes they are exempt from these influences; however, the synthetic linings and insoles may be causing significant changes in one’s health. Most bisphenols are released in greater abundance when heat has been added. This has been shown with plastic drink bottles and even the BPA contained receipts from the grocery store, service stations and airline boarding passes. The feet can also be subjected to increased absorption of toxins due to elevated temperatures on hot days.

Imitation leather shoes using a polyurethane derived “poromeric” (coined by Du Pont) substance and leatherette use PVC/acrylate compositions. Sports shoes are known to contain Ethylene-vinyl acetate, polyurethane, Isoprene and other plastic/vulcanised rubber compounds which combine isocyanate and polyol together with sulfur atoms to create the synthetic materials used. Within these composites are individual constituents such as phthalates from PVC which are used to make synthetic plastics more flexible. These amongst other polyurethane and formaldehyde compounds all have a long history of carcinogenesis or ability to cause cancer tumors. (Salmon et al. 1991) (Mikoczy et al. 2003). They have been demonstrated in numerous test studies to be potent endocrine disrupters (Rudel et al. 2009).

Often other synthetic materials contain benzenes which have a long history of immune suppressing activity. This was discovered in the 1970-80’s when benzenes were contained in sexual lubricants and were implicated in the AIDS epidemic.

It is interesting that the countries less likely to produce shoes with synthetic linings are Israel, Italy, Thailand and the USA. Most of these shoes are worn by the elite, including royalty and high profile billionaires. As for the rest of the population, statistics on rising health conditions including diabetes, infertility, heart disease, and cancer continue to soar.

These studies clearly demonstrate the adverse effects of bisphenols on human cellular structures. The current infertility epidemic may be tangibly linked to bisphenols, due to the demonstration of lowered testosterone levels in human testes. Further epidemiological investigations show the action of BPA in mutagenic and carcinogenic processes.

The activity of BPA’s on animals, plants and micro organisms have been discussed due to the high variation of metabolites that exhibit BPA toxicity. As micobacteria are clearly affected by one’s own “ gut flora” it can be a possible defence or could work against the host depending on morphological processes .

With significant increases in transgender related hermaphroditic births, there could be a clear ubiquitous influence right under our feet.

Greg Fredericks ND, NMD.
© November 2017.

Eladak S. et al. “A new chapter in the bisphenol A story: bisphenol S and bisphenol F are not safe alternatives to this compound.” Fertility and Sterility Vol103, Issue 1, January 2015, 11-21(PubMed).
Michalowicz J. “Bisphenol A Sources, toxicity, and biotransformation” Environmental Toxicity and Pharmacology Vol 37, Issue 2, March 2014, 738-58.
Chen MY. Acute toxicity, mutagenicity, and estrogenicity of bisphenol A and other bisphenols Environmental toxicology Jan 2002, Vol 17 (1) 80-86.
Salmon AG., Zelse L. Risks of Carcinogenesis from Urethane Exposure CRC Press 1991: Boca Raton Florida 33431.
Mikoczy Z. et al. Cancer incidence and mortality of isocyanate exposed workers from Swedish polyurethane foam industry (1958-98). Occup and Environ Med Vol 61 (5) 2003.
Rudel RA, Perovich LJ. Endocrine disrupting chemicals in indoor and outdoor air. Atmos Environ, 2009. Jan 1, 43 (1):170-181 (PubMed).